I NEED to advise everyone who was adversely affected by the February disaster that the Federal Government is still refusing to assist us. Mark Dreyfus (Federal Attorney-General) has written to me and it is quite apparent he is simply explaining away the need for our community to be properly supported via the AGDRP program (Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment).
According to Mark Dreyfus the February storm was not an event that caused serious adversity to the Coffs Harbour population. Mr Dreyfus stated, "A power outage by itself is unlikely to demonstrate a severe impact on a community". I beg to differ.
Mr Dreyfus also made comment he needed to consider how many people within a community were adversely affected by the storm.
I'm afraid that Mr Dreyfus seems to have made a huge error in judgment given that approximately 15,000 to 20,000 households were without electricity during and after the February storm event.
The approximate 15,000 to 20,000 households affected by the storm means that there were at least 40,000 people or more severely and adversely affected by the declared disaster.
Mr Dreyfus wrote to me directly and via Luke Hartsuyker's office regarding his decision not to apply AGDRP funding to the Coffs Harbour area. I am happy to report that Mr Dreyfus has made critical oversights in his responses and has contradicted himself to the point where I now need to continue to question his response to our genuine need.
I am aware that there are probably some people in the Coffs Harbour area who are wondering why I am bothering with this matter. I am continuing to challenge the Attorney-General's view as it is my belief that we are all victims of petty political politics.
I am hopeful all the people in the Coffs Harbour area who were seriously affected by the February 2013 disaster support me in working towards a fair and equitable outcome regarding our deserved need to gain access to AGDRP payments.